Sen. Tim Kaine: 'Additional Aid Is Necessary to Help Ukraine Win'

( – Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.), a member of both the Armed Services and Foreign Relations Committees, says there is bipartisan support for sending Ukraine billions more dollars to support its fight against Russian aggression:

“We’ll turn to it as soon as we get back to the Senate tomorrow,” Kaine told CBS’s “Face the Nation” on Sunday: “And I think we need to push it very, very quickly. Obviously, we just did an aid package for Ukraine about a month ago that was about $13 billion. And that is a dramatic escalation over what we did in 2021 and even before that.

“But this additional aid is — is necessary to help Ukraine win and beat Russia’s illegal invasion of their country.”

Kaine said it doesn’t matter if the additional $33-billion for Ukraine, as requested by President Joe Biden, is a stand-alone package or if it is tied to additional COVID funding:

“The procedure of where you put bills together or separate them is quirky and sometimes unpredictable. But, no, we don’t — we need COVID aid. We need Ukraine aid. We should do them together or separately, but we shouldn’t wait around.


“And I think that’s what May needs to be about for us, is getting both of these done, together with the competitiveness bill. I think those three big bills, Ukraine aid, COVID aid, and the competitiveness bill, are the three big tasks ahead of us in May.”

However it is presented, “We need to do this quickly,” Kaine said.

‘Flood the zone with military and humanitarian aid’

Host Margaret Brennan asked Kaine if the Senate should discuss “authorization” for the potential use of U.S. military force in Ukraine. The current AUMF (authorization for the use of military force) pertains to the 9/11 perpetrators, and it has been stretched over the years to apply to other non-state terrorist groups — or “wherever, whatever,” as Kaine once said.

“Do you think there needs to be a discussion of authorization of use of force?” Brennan asked the senator:

“I think that would be premature, Margaret,” Kaine said. But I think there’s a shared sense that, first, if Russia were to take action against any NATO ally, Article 5 of NATO would mandate a military response. And that would be–“

“But why would it be premature if President Biden has already said he won’t send troops?” Brennan interrupted. “He’s already set a line.”

“Yes, but he’s also said that use of nuclear weapons or chemical weapons could alter the equation,” Kaine said.

“So, right now, the status quo is, we are providing massive amounts of aid to Ukraine, both the U.S. and NATO allies and others. If there were to be an invasion of a NATO country, a kinetic or even a cyberattack, or if there were to be use of chemical or nuclear weapons in Ukraine, that would change the equation.

“But, for now, I think the right strategy is to flood the zone with military and humanitarian aid.”


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